Here is a list of the new Nationals players this year: Miguel Batista, Brian Bruney, Eric Bruntlett, Matt Capps, Chris Duncan, Eddie Guardado, Adam Kennedy, Jason Marquis, Kevin Mench, Ivan Rodriguez, and now Chien-Ming Wang. Here is a list of the new Mets players this year: Jason Bay, Frank Catalanotto, R.A. Dickey, Kelvin Escobar, Gary Matthews Jr. Which team is acting like next season is more vital? Which team is going to be better?
Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA underwent a face-lift since the crazy predictions of their first run, so they no longer have the Nationals over .500. Now, they have them last in the NL East, just three games behind the fourth-place Mets. We still think the Mets should be better than the Nationals this season. But what of a general organizational plan?
This morning, Buster Olney wrote, “The Mets’ entire offseason feels as if they’re making up the plays at the line of scrimmage, rather than working off a larger planned script,” and the strangest thing about that statement is not that he’s right (he is), it’s that those plays they’re making up appear to be two-yard plunges up the middle by the fullback — a fullback they found hanging around a chop shop just down the street from Citi Field. (It’s worth noting that Olney says Wang hasn’t made a decision on a team yet, refuting Pete Abraham’s initial tweeted report.)
The Mets may be better than the Nationals this season, but Washington seems to have a better vision — or at least a vision — of where it’s going. The Mets were reportedly just turned down by Todd Wellemeyer. Their rotation remains Santana, Maine, Niese, Perez/Nieve/Pelfrey. That’s worse than the Nationals’ rotation. That’s worse than most teams have. There has been cheap pitching available all off-season. There still is. Seriously, what’s going on?
(UPDATE: Wang has not officially signed with the Nationals yet. But he’s totally signing with the Nationals.)